Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Kirk Inches Closer to Romney

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Illinois senator says Romney is the man to beat.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk hasn't endorsed a GOP candidate for president, but it's looking more and more like he's on Mitt Romney's team.

Kirk said Monday the field is getting down to "Romney and the anti-Romney," listing all of the GOP darlings -- Palin, Bachman, Trump et al -- that have fallen by the wayside.

"The underlying story is the rise and rise of Mitt Romney," Kirk said.

In regards to the Herman Cain sexual harassment controversy, Kirk said Cain "needs to respond and respond completely."

"I do think his story is largely ending," Kirk said. "The critical thing is not what everybody thinks, but what caucus-goers in Iowa think and primary goers in New Hampshire think. My read right now it's looking very good for Romney."

Sen. Dick Durbin, who appeared with Kirk at the new conference to announce joint legislation on EpiPens in schools, seemed to relish the discord on the GOP side but refused to provide much in the way of analysis.

"I would just say I agree with the president. Maybe the best thing that's happened for our party is that the other party has had a lot of debates. We encourage more," Durbin said.

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